The MSC Chain of Custody (CoC) standard was first published in 2000, and major reviews of the standard were conducted in 2005 and 2011. The CoC standard itself has changed relatively little during these reviews; however, over time additional requirements for CoC-certified companies have been included in the Certification Requirements (CR)  – particularly in Annex BD (Additional CoC requirements) and Annex BC (checklist for group CoC).

The CR document is intended for use by certifiers, and is a highly technical and very lengthy document which many companies have trouble navigating. Feedback from certificate holders, MSC staff, and certifiers suggests that the current structure (with requirements in two places) is confusing and makes it harder for companies to understand. In addition, it is best practice, specified in the ISEAL standard setting code to separate the certifier requirements from the standard.